tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 4, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
the "l.a times," "romney sharp and steady in first presidential debate." >> under the president's policies, middle-income americans have been buried. they are just being crushed. >> and challenge on obama's hits on his own policies point by point. >> governor romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut. >> virtually everything he said about hi tax plan is inaccurate. >> for 18 months he's been running on this tax plan, and now five weeks before the election he's saying that his big bold idea is nevermind. >> let me repeat what i said. i'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. >> the president's lackluster response sent critics into a tail spin and put team obama on defense. >> i don't know what he was doing out there. he had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than
fighting it. the latest thing we got from romney because he said so, was, you know what i want to do with people when they are poor? shove them in the emergency room. where was obama tonight? >> progressives from chris matthews to bill maher to michael moore all across the progressive wing of the democratic party, there's great disappointment. >> they were jumping out of their seats watching. >> i understand. i understand there was a hunger for us to attack romney more personally than the president did last night. >> bottom line, romney scores, but was last night the first to game-change his campaign and what they sorely needed? >> the only loophole he had enough courage to mention last night was big bird and public broadcasting. >> i think governor strickland was watching a different debate from me and the american people. >> yeah, big bird got hit by the bus last night. joining me is ed schultz, good
to have you here. i was watching you last night, your immediate reaction saying that the president was off his game. you were stunned. and then you had this exchange with david plouffe from the obama campaign after the debate. take a look. >> mr. plouffe, why didn't the president mention tonight that we have had 30 months of private sector job growth? that's a heck of a number considering the fact that there's been so much obstruction coming from the republicans, and even on that, the president seemed timid when it came to pointing out what he's been dealing with with republicans. and also the biggest story since the convention has been the 47%. none of this was mentioned tonight by the president. clear openings to put mitt romney on the defensive. why didn't he do that? >> well, first of all, on the 47%, that's an issue that just about 100% of the country knows about. >> and over the last 12 hours -- >> did you hear that? 100% of the country knows that 47% story. i don't believe that. when bush and cheney got in trouble, they went to their
base. and president obama needs to go to his base. i don't mean to interrupt you, thomas, but there's a lot of emotion on the left today. and i think the president is asking the left to say, settle down, this is a marathon, it is not a sprint. and there is frustration, no question about it. what's frustrating is we on the left know mitt romney is a liar. it's hard to watch him lie and not be countered. that's the tough thing. >> all right. let's talk about this specifically because as you said, 47% not brought up, bain not brought up, mitt romney's taxes not brought up. it seemed as though mitt romney was prepared to answer some of these tough questions because i noticed when he walked up to the podium, it looked like he threw a hankey to look to keep his powder dry. i want to show everybody, he reaches into his pocket and throws something onto the podium. no one wants to have the richard nixon moment, but he did keep his powder dry the whole time do. you think somebody inside the obama camp decided the president should not go on the attack.
just left romney come at him. and let him get exhausted. >> we just heard that sound byte from david axelrod. stating the record is not going on the attack. stating the record about where we were and where we are and where we are going is not an attack. last night we saw an american businessman tell the american people he really wants the job. we felt it. and whether you like it or not, i know substance is a big issue, but presentation in debates is also very important. and it leaves an impression on people who don't have a job. this guy wants the job. president obama last night, he seemed timid at times and off his game as if i really got to go into this rope-a-done strategy. you know what? i'm a strategy supporter, and i think president obama had a bad night. he's had a great four years considering and that's where my focus goes from here, but i'm not going to be in denial that the president needs to pivot on this and needs to get aggressive
on the record, not so much to be negative against things that romney has said. we all know that. state what you've established. where was the automobile loan and the saving of billions of jobs? where was the private sector job growth? why wouldn't he mention not outsourcing and creating jobs in america in almost to the point where the president's team failed him. >> performance, the campaign surrogates that were out ahead of time were saying that mitt romney is a great gatdebatgator debator. >> that is political russian roulette. we have a narrow window of opportunity to make sure that the vote gets out. what the president did last night was energize the suppress the vote people trying to intimidate obama supporters.
on the other hand you have the left now looking for direction saying, okay, mr. president, do you really believe in what you're saying because there were moment last night where the president seemed unsure of himself. look, i certainly am not going to bail out on the effort of the progressive movement in this country. this is just making it a little heavier lift than it is right now. it was very frustrating to watch a guy lie to the american people and not be counter punched because we are afraid he's going to be called an angry black man. when i see the president, i don't see a black man. i see a president who is inheriting an untenable position and turned it around to where we are right now. he brought it down to 8% unemployment without any help of the republicans. why didn't he turn to mitt romney and say, i've been trying to work with your party but they have given me a record number of filibusters, how hard is that? >> this is just the first of what we'll see throughout the rest of the month. the political calendar packed with a jobs report on friday. next thursday we have the vp debate. the second presidential debate is on the 16th.
how would you, if you were at vising the president, other than to dvr your show at 8:00 every night, how would you advise him to get his mojo back? >> i find it ironic they have been holding joe biden back. be careful what you say now and now they need him to go out there to do the knock-out punch and lay it on the line for the mid class. he will do that. vice president biden is undoubtedly an intelligent man. he knows his material and he is not going to back down whatsoever. and there's a lot of target-rich environment in the holes that have been offered by the ryan plan. so i think the first thing is, let's get a great vice presidential debate and reset the stage for the president to come out and get after it again. >> ed, thank you so much. we love when we can get you in here early in the morning. >> i like it. it's good to be here. i know a lot of liberals in this country are frustrated right now. this is a bump in the road. it's not a redirect. >> ed schultz, catch him
weeknights here on msnbc at 8:00 p.m. he plays for politics. thank you. i just want to point out we are paying attention to what's going on in denver right now with a president obama rally scheduled for 12:05. coming up in roughly an hour. 12:05 eastern time. we'll keep an eye on that. we want to bring in our debate post-game power, joy reed, we have anita dunn, former white house communications director, and john baybender who served on rick santorum's presidential campaign. gang, good to have you here. julian, you were saying yesterday don't try too hard for that moment and don't get too snippy, come armed with specifics. what do you think now? president obama was not listening to that. what happened? >> well, you know what? i think ed schultz made a lot of good points but you look at his exchange with the obama campaign
manager. he said everybody knows about the 47%. i think the biggest problem for the obama campaign last night was they had a presumption that everybody knows the facts so they don't have to relitigate the facts in a debate. the problem is you have to come into every debate as if nobody knows anything because what mitt romney was able to do was to present a completely different person and a much more aggressive person. and as ed said, ask for the job. so i think the next time what the president needs to do is to litigate that debate as if nobody knows the facts about 47%, bain capital, all the indictable things about mitt romney. he did not do that last night. >> those who watch the political observationists say and know republicans are doing the happy dance today. this was the type of performance that romney brought last night. bill crystal in "the weekly standard" said, romney comes out of the debate with momentum. can his campaign turn a good debate into a true inflection point in the presidential race?
so in your estimation, your guy went up against mitt romney in the primary and debates, how does this mitt romney last night compare to the one that your guy debated against and then how does romney seize on this moment to keep up that momentum in the final days? >> well, first of all, i'm not the least bit surprised mitt romney did as well as he did. he did well in the 20 debates rick santorum went up against him. i would also argue one of the big advantages romney had going into the debate was he did have to debate rick santorum, he did have to debate newt gingrich. it is like having a preseason. and the president didn't have that. i think the other key thing that came out of this is the presidential race for all practical purposes actually started last night. a lot of people just didn't know mitt romney and they do know him now and they came across as likable, even in his critiques of the president. and i think the base of the republican party is extremely energized after last night. >> anita, our own chris matthews said the president looked like he was enduring the debate than
having a debate, fighting it out. we know senator john keshry was the president's sparring partner to prep him for this. what went wrong? i mean, why didn't the president display the passion needed, because it is really the undecides out there, both sides, whether you are for governor romney or president obama, why not display the passion necessary to keep the job. >> thomas, thank you for having me on this morning. people who watched the debate saw two different candidates. you saw a strong performance from governor romney and i totally agree with john. i think the advantages he had coming in having done the debates during the primary season, having, being a good deba debater, the obama campaign is trying to lower expectations, that was not the case. but what mitt romney did during the primaries as john's own candidate, rick santorum pointed out, was he said whatever he
needed to get to or through last night. it was a debate and switch performance on the part of mitt romney where he walked away from his own tax plan and misled the american people about it. where he misled the american people about medicare. where he said under his health care plan everyone with a pre-existing plan would be covered and his own senior aid went into the press room ten minutes later and said, no, that's not true. debates are several cycles, right? you have the debate itself and then you have the morning after and the days after. and what governor romney did last night was say what he needed to say. what the president did was he talked straight from the heart and levelled with the american people about where we need to go. >> anita, perception is reality and the headlines have turned mitt romney's way. and the president as narrow as this race is if he wants to be re-elected can't afford to let this tighten anymore in states like florida. the president pointed to agreements between himself and
mitt romney last night. take a look. >> governor romney and i both agree our corporate tax rate is too high. governor romney and i, we both agree that we've got to boost american energy production. one of the things i suspect governor romney and i probably agree on is getting businesses to work with community colleges so they are setting up their training programs. >> do you agree, governor? >> let me finish my point. >> what's the strategy there? why try to raise romney up to his level? >> yeah, you know, it was one of those moments where i was watching this on twitter where people who supported the president were literally having their heads exploding. this is where you see the obama camp sometimes reading too much into what makes him more popular and likable. i think they see, well, he's a guy willing to compromise and be conciliatory. they didn't want to sacrifice likability in order to go against mitt romney, but unfortunately that's not how you debate. i think they need to go back and stop trying to shore up what's already there, that the
president is likable. the president is president so he doesn't have to reinforce presidential sort of bearing. he needs to litigate the case and that's what they need to do better. >> the game is certainly afoot. joy-ann reed, anita dunn and john, thank you. as president i will sit down on day one, actually, a day after i get elected, i'll sit down with democratic leaders as well as republican leaders. >> i think governor romney is going to have a busy first day because he's also going to repeal obama care, which will not be popular among democrats as you sit down with them. >> mitt romney and president obama spar over health care and who can get things done in health care. who made the best case and who was the best middle class messenger? bernie sanders and cay bailey hutchinson join me next to talk about that. plus, it turns out big bird was the clear win ore it have debate. we'll explain. and we'll get your thoughts on what you witnessed last night in the first 2012 presidential debate. was mitt romney's debate performance the october surprise?
weigh in on twitter, you'll find us @thomasaroberts. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic. that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they help save you up to thousands in out-of-pocket costs.
call today to request a free decision guide. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients... plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. join the millions who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp... and provided by unitedhealthcare insurance company, which has over 30 years of experience behind it. with all the good years ahead, look for the experience and commitment to go the distance with you. call now to request your free decision guide.
four years ago i said that i'm not a perfect man and i wouldn't be a perfect. president and that's probably a promise governor romney probably thinks i've kept, but i also promised i would fight every single day on behalf of the american people and the middle class. >> there's no question in my mind that if the president were to be re-elected you'll continue to see a middle class squeeze with incomes going down and prices going up. i'll get incomes up again. >> the middle class voter, the independent, the undecided voter was the true audience last night. those 2% to 3% are the ones that the president and governor romney need to win over between
now and election day. so how did those two men do? joining us now independent govern governor, and governor sanders, did the president make the case that he's done more for the middle class over the last four years, did he leave that impression? >> well, i think he was not as strong as he should have been. i think he should have made it very clear in reminding the american people that when he came into office after eight years of george bush's policies, which is what romney wants to continue, what we had is 700,000 americans a month losing their jobs because of the deregulation of wall street, which romney wants to continue. we had the american and world financial system on the verge of collapse. an inch away from a world depression. that's what he inherited. has he done all that i would like him to do over the last four years? no, but has he stemmed that disastrous policy and protected
the middle class? putting more people into health care, creating jobs for many, many months after the disastrous bush agenda? yes, he has. >> senator hutchinson, the undecided voters are the pivotal swing votes throughout the election. and in certain snap polls taken last night, uncommitted voters polled by cbs news called mitt romney the winner by a 2 to 1 margin. and 67% said their opinion of romney changed for the better after last night. mitt romney said a lot of what the president did wrong but gave few specifics on what he would do right. do you think that hurt him in the long-run on the reintroduction is what he could do for the millions of people watching? >> i think that governor romney pointed out where we are today, which everyone knows is not as good a position as it was when he took office. we have increased deficits. we have had unemployment over 8%. the middle class is hurting. and i think he did, thomas, give
specifics. he gave his five-point plan how he is going to create jobs in this country. >> but senator, you don't think that we are better off than four years ago when it comes to 43 straight months of job growth, the fact that the auto bailout worked? the fact we have drawn out of the war in iraq and we are now slowly trying to map out the course to leave afghanistan? you don't think that the country is better off than we were four years ago as a whole, collectively? >> since you brought up the foreign situation, i think we are in a much worse position because the president withdrew from iraq and afghanistan without benchmarks that would be required to keep those countries stable when we leave. that's why we are seeing our people being shot by insiders in afghanistan. why things are breaking up in iraq. i don't think the world is safer because of what president obama has done. i think his foreign policy is very --
>> do you think we need to pull out of these nations? >> no. >> then how do you say we need to control the foreign situation in iraq, the country we ended our war with and now afghanistan? >> we need to have principles and the allies need to know we'll be strong and reliable and our enemies need to know we'll keep our word with what we say we will do. and we have not kept our word in iraq or afghanistan by setting benchmarks before we would leave. that's why the afghan people know the taliban will be there when we are gone and they are very, very concerned about it. and it's destabilizing. but let's get back to the economy, it was governor romney who talked about what he would do to create jobs. he's the one who put forward specifics about his plan. one thing that know one has talked about today is that his five-point plan includes increasing trade with central and south america. trade in our hemisphere, which
is absolutely essential for us and easier and will build up central and south america so that it has more stable economies. >> one thing that came up last night was about mitt romney's plan to add 12 million jobs, but the economic forecast that's been projected by the cbo already says that 12 million jobs are going to be added over the next four years because of the current path we are on economically. so senators, i want to get you on the record about what came up about obama care last night and the arguments that were made back and forth on that front. who made the better argument about where we stand and what we need as a nation health care wise? >> we saw mr. romney as an etch-a-sketch. when he was running in the republican primary he moved to the right. yesterday he pretended to be somewhat of a centerist. but here's the point, let's be clear. romney won the performance debate last night, no question about it. but in terms of policy, let me ask senator hutchinson, romney
will cut social security. and i believe senator hutchinson agrees with him. romney will convert medicare into a voucher program, which will be a disaster for senior citizens who are ill. romney -- let me finish please, he will make devastating cuts in medicare slowing millions and millions of children off of health insurance. romney at a time when we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income since the 1920s will give huge, huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires while devastating programs that working families need. that is the policy position of romney. yes, he did very well in his performance, the president did not do so well. but in terms of the essence of what he stands for, he's going to protect the wealthy at the expense of virtually everybody else. >> senator hitchenson, i have to go. i have to leave the last word right there. but we have two more debates. >> oh, no, surely you're not
going to let him get by with that without a response. >> senator hitchenson, i have to go. we have two more debates. >> that is absolutely false what he has said. i'm sorry i can't respond. >> we'll leave the last word there. senator bernard sanders, senator kay bailey hutchinson, thank you. up next, we'll talk to former governor charlie chris. plus all a twitter, the debate was the most tweeted political event in history. we'll take a look at the highlights. time for the "your business" entrepreneur of the week. andrew rosenwach is the fourth-generation owner of rosenwach tanks. you'll find his tanks on hundreds of new york city rooftops. today the tanks are shaped by hand with past century old tools. he says you don't throw out what works, you just build upon it. for more, watch "your business" this sunday at 7:30 on msnbc.
[ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert. [ honk! ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ i love the split screen staring at obama, addressing him as the prey. i'm coming at the incumbent, i have to beat him. i'm going to beat him tonight. i don't care what this guy, the moderator, whatever he thinks he is, because i'm going to ignore him. what was romney doing? he was winning! >> that was chris matthews after the debate last night asking
where was obama? for many the president seemed disengaged during that debate. the debate with charlie chris the republican governor of florida after leaving the party in the race for the u.s. senate. now he's supporting president obama. great to have you here with us today, sir. i want you to take a listen to what former congressman davis said to chris jansing last hour. take a look. >> isn't it telling last night that president obama himself did not bring up bain capital. isn't it telling that president obama himself did not accuse governor romney of causing women to die from cancer because of things that happened at companies he ran? isn't it telling that president obama didn't make much of this 47% gaffe a week ago. >> sir, why didn't the president bring up any of those things? were you watching this wondering that yourself? >> of course. i was watching it and some of the comments that i hear today make me think people were looking for entertainment instead of substance and facts.
i was looking for substance and facts. i saw a president who was very calm, cool and collected. he was looking out for the interest of seniors here in the country as it related to medicare and he was somebody concerned, in my opinion, about the middle class about doing what's right in terms of going forward in terms of diversifying our resources. i know people say this morning that maybe romney was attacking and energetic and all of that sort of thing, but what i saw in the president was somebody who knew his facts, kept his cool, presented himself in a presidential way and i thought did a fine job. we have to realize there's two more of these debates to go. and i don't know that the president necessarily wanted to unload everything in debate number one. >> but what about one thing? this was about domestic policies. so what about bain? what about the 47% remark? what about mitt romney's taxes?
all these things that have been swirling around for months now leading up to this, none of that was discussed. >> great question. he did talk about taxes and pretty articulately when the president said, look, what we are being presented with here by governor romney is that he wants a $5 trillion tax cut and on top of that he wants to add $2 trillion in military spending that the military is not even asking for. and when asked how he's going to pay for all those cuts and those additions, how are you going to do it, governor romney? and the answer is almost short-shifted to the conscious of the american people when he says, what i'm going to do is i'm going to get rid of some of the loopholes and that's going to take care of it. well, that just isn't a sufficient answer because it won't even tell us what loopholes he's going to close in order to do it. this is a man who is running to be president of the united states. with all due respect to governor romney, when you're asking for somebody's vote, you aught to tell them what specifically you're going to do if they are kind enough to give you that vote. he didn't do that last night.
i don't know if he'll do it in the next two debates or not. time will tell, but i thought the president was powerful in that moment. >> governor, you seem to be making a better case yourself this morning. as we talk about florida this morning, it's a razor-thin margin. the latest wall street journal poll showing the president with a one-point lead over mitt romney. how does the president salvage this and do you think that last night's debate will give mitt romney momentum in your state to go ahead of president obama and take the lead? >> that's a great question. and it's too early to tell. we really don't know. the performance by governor romney, you have to give him credit. he did a good performance. frankly, though, in some of that performance, and i don't know if i'm the only one who saw it, but he seemed kind of testy, to be honest with you. and i also thought that he almost tried to take over being the moderator. jim lehrer is one of the most respected journalists in our country. and certainly probably one of the most experienced moderators in presidential debates that we have seen, but it looked like
governor romney was trying to take over his job, too, not just the president's. and it did not come across attractive, at least in my estimation. and i don't know that's what we want. there has to be respect. the president certainly gave it last night in my humble opinion. and i think that's what the american people want, more respect, nor appropriate decorum instead of saying it is your turn to talk when the moderator should control that. >> i don't think he concerned about jim lehrer's job over big bird, but i appreciate it. this is a way for us to watch history, but last night millions of americans were watching history happen two screens at a time. twitter telling us the debate in denver was the most tweeted event in politics. over 10.3 million tweets had to do with the melee in the mile-high city. now the highest spike in tweets was after the comment by the moderator, jim lehrer. >> let's talk about the other
big one. >> no, let's not. let's let him respond. >> one of the other big moments came after romney's comment about cutting funding for pbs. >> i'm going to stop the subsidy to pbs and stop other things. i like pbs and big bird. and i like you, too. >> i like big bird but he'll be out of a job prompting the rush recreation of @firebigbird that gathered 27,000 followers. and this twit pic viewed over 147,000 times that says, will work for food. an energy bill do? or get the yard ready for cool weather? the answer? a lot less. the great american fix-up is going on now... ...with new projects every week and big savings every day. so you can do what needs to be done. today. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, owens corning ecotouch attik insulation
[ male announcer ] why not talk to someone who owns an adjustable version of the most highly recommended bed in america? ask me about my tempur advanced ergo. goes up. goes up. ask me what it's like to get a massage anytime you want. goes down. goes down. [ male announcer ] tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. ergonomics. [ male announcer ] tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america. [ female announcer ] for more information or to find a retailer near you, visit tempurpedic.com. you are going to see a closing of the numbers. you are going to see a reset on the race. >> that is former mccain strategist steve schmidt this morning on "morning joe" reacting to last night's debate. how much weight do the debates actually carry? for more reaction to the debates last night, i want to bring in
live from seattle, minneapolis contributor ron reagan. senator of former president, ronald reagan. and we have columnist megan mccain, daughter of former presidential candidate john mccain. megan, i want to start with you, was this debate a reprieve for mitt romney? steve says they are basically a reset moving forward in watching the numbers tighten with momentum, the wind at his back. >> let me tell you something, thomas, this morning is a good morning to be a romney supporter. yes, i definitely think that mitt romney came back swinging and completely reset the election and gained new momentum and enthusiasm and did an incredible job last night and i have never been more proud of him. >> ron, ed schultz told me liberals are emotional and disappointed that the president was not more aggressive. and others say this is equivalent of the rnc convention, a big lackluster. >> he was a bit off his game. it's a bit like watching the
team going into the fourth quarter and they start playing defense. they don't try to win anymore. if you don't try to win in politics, you're losing. president obama strangely enough led tior let time after time pa, i don't have a tax plan that costs $5 trillion. time after time mitt romney came out with the real whoppers and president obama just kind of let it go. he's going to have to change that dynamic in the next debate. >> okay. as we watch the performance last night, meghan, mitt romney was aggressive and jim lehrer lost control with mitt romney taking over. take a look. >> we have training programs, balancing the budget and helping small business. those are the cornerstones of my plan. but the president mentioned a couple other ideas i'll just note. first education. i agree, education is key, particularly the future of our -- the president began this segment so i get the last word. >> you get the first word in the
next segment. >> he gets the first word of that segment, let me just make that comment. i'm sorry, jim, i'm going to stop the subsidy to pbs. i like pbs and big bird, and i like you, too, but i'm not going to keep spending on money to borrow money from china to pay for it. let me mention the other one. >> no, let's not. >> your time is up, sir. >> i have five seconds before he interrupted me. >> was it an aggressive approach on mitt romney's part on just the right tone? >> i think mitt romney was doing great and i prefer this time of format before the debate. just letting the two gentlemen go into specifics about the different policy plan of how they think our government should be run. jim lehrer kept getting kanye'd and that's his own problem. >> did jim lehrer get kanye'd?
>> yes, at one point he took the first and last words of two segments in a row just by talking over jim lehrer and not letting him interject. but romney did well performancewise, but we can unpack the substance of his remarks and find them awfully wanting. >> we have two more to go in the vice presidential debate for sure. msnbc's contributors ron reagan and meghan mccain, thank you for waking up with me. fact checkers are having a good day today. they are busy. they need a lot of coffee to keep up. >> he took some short-term gain for long-term pain. last night if mitt romney was talking -- >> the obama campaign in full damage control mode after last night's debate. a lot of facts were being thrown around. more fact checks and half-truths. we want to get your thought on the debate, was mitt romney's debate performance the october surprise? weigh in on twitte twitter @thomasaroberts. [ man ] ring ring... progresso
this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
president obama is expected here in just a few moments for a rally. wisconsin is still in play. it is paul ryan's home state that has ten electoral votes. there are the most sought after votes for both presidential candidates. the ballots of the undecideds around the country. nbc's ron allen sat down with them and got their reaction in this report. >> what do you think won? when wednesday night's debate was over, a registered e independent who voted for president obama last year may have said it best. >> i felt like governor romney stepped up his game in terms of bringing something new to this
campaign. >> reporter: we had a diverse group, a few new to politics, some swing voters, age 57 to 17. all relieved to hear directly from the two candidates instead of all the negative ads bombarding the state. how many of you saw something in governor romney you had not seen before? >> ultimately i think he was very compassionate and he seemed like his policies were actually sensible. >> if you notice, there's a four-step plan. this is one, two, three, four. he's very clear in talking to us. >> reporter: despite all of that, for some president obama still won the night because he came across as the person they could relate to. >> i feel like i want a president i can connect with. he looked to the camera and addressed us. and mitt romney did not do that. >> i like how obama talked about the middle class. i personally don't know any millionaires and there's a lot more of us in the middle class. >> reporter: the two latina
women said they were leaning toward the president, the group he hopes to win this state. on the other hand, some supporters may be slipping away. >> he made a lot of promises four years ago and we've had four years to watch a lot of them not happen. >> reporter: you voted for obama last time. >> yes, he's more suspicious and more guarded. >> the question i have is four years, is that enough to follow through on those promises? can all of president obama's promises he made four years ago really be done in four years? >> reporter: what do you think, is four years enough? >> i don't think so. >> reporter: they all wish they had a fact checker standing by to sort through the flurry of claims and counter claims. is romney really not seeking a $5 trillion tax cut? will people be able to keep their health insurance under the president's plan? >> i approach they are both lying to me and i'm basing my decision on that. >> reporter: the question i have that maybe you can't answer, why can't you make up your minds?
they all said the rest of the debates are now more crucial. after watching round one, perhaps significantly changed the entire race. ron allen, nbc news, denver. all right. speaking of fact checkers, we'll talk to one next, but we did ask you what you think, was mitt romney's debate performance the october surprise? andrew kelly wrote, unfortunately yes, but at least the president didn't sling mud. from ryan ross cummings, romney's flip on policies threw off obama, period. ady for a taste of what's hot? check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic.
governor romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut. >> i'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. that's not my plan. >> i put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. >> if you're re-elected we'll get to a trillion dollar debt. >> 77 government programs. >> 700,000 jobs. >> $4 billion a year.
>> so facts and figures were tossed around in last night's presidential debates like balloons at a convention. when you pick apart statements, separate fact from fiction, will some balloons burst. "the washington post" put some late night last night facts and big claims under the microsco microscope. over night a lot of people were working on finding out and digging deeper the facts there. so let's talk about the very first claim that we have in a sound bite just a moment ago, the president claiming that governor romney's plan would cut $5 trillion in taxes. governor romney saying he's never suggested such a thing. who is right on that? >> well, it is one of the instances where they're both right, or both wrong depending how you want to look at it. what governor romney has proposed is to cut tax rates by 20% and eliminate the estate tax and alternative minimum tax. when you do that over ten years you put $5 trillion hole in your revenue. so that's where obama gets $5 trillion tax cut.
but governor romney says he will make up that money through eliminating loopholes, tax deductions that sort of thing but he hasn't specifically said which one his would target. but that's how he can say, i don't have a $5 trillion tax cut. obama can come back and say you haven't given specifics how can we believe it really adds up. in fact every study nonpartisan that has looked at this has said that you know, unless you really tweaked the numbers, there's not justify money out there to fill that $5 trillion hole. >> so, glenn, the president said she's the guy plan to cut $4 trillion in the deficit. here's how he describes that plan. >> the way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for a dollar of additional revenue. governor romney earlier mentioned the bowles-simpson commission. well that's how the commission bipartisan commission, that talked about how we should move forward suggested we have do it, in a balanced way with some revenue and some spending cuts. >> all right.
when we put the president's proposal under the lens on this one, glenn, what do you find out? >> yeah, there's not much there. this is fantasy washington accounting, really. you know, he -- when i had looked at this before, essentially it's maybe one dollar of tax cuts for one dollar of spending cuts. but a lot of the spending cuts in there are, you know, are made up, so to speak. for instance, he gives himself $800 billion worth of credit for any awards in afghanistan and iraq, that money that wasn't going to be spent anyway. counts $1 trillion in spending cuts already banked, no matter who was president that would happen. it's really not at all like the simpson-bowles commission when you do apples to apples, the simpson-bowles commission over ten years would reduce the deficit by 50% more than the president's plan the jobs issue from last night and governor romney made bold claims during the debate.
take a look. >> 43 straight months with unemployment above 8%. if i'm president i will help create 12 million new jobs in the country with rising incomes. >> so when we hear about that, what is your take on that? the 12 million jobs, isn't that predicted by the cbo? >> well, yeah, the cbo adjusted it down a bit. most private economists say no matter who is president they're going to have 12 million jobs created in the next four years. it a safe bet for romney to make that claim, no matter what policies he implements, economists expect you're going end up with 12 million more jobs. >> all right. we've got two more debates to go and the vice presidential one to watch as well. you guys are going to be busy throughout the month. glenn kessler, thank you. i appreciate it. >> you're welcome. that's going to wrap things up for me. i'll see you back here tomorrow 11:00 a.m. eastern time. joining me, jan shkowski and ron
insana, jared bernstein. and part of the power panel, jonathan capehart and susan dell persio. "now" is next. >> thomas, who was that masked man? it appears mitt romney has officially shaken the etch a sketch. we'll discuss the rominee's move to the mitchell and everything that went down in denver, including the holes in romney's tax bucket, deficit plan and more. masterpiece theater. we'll grade president obama's and governor romney's stage presence inside the debate studio. when "now" starts in a mere 180 seconds. in what world do potatoes, bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and save you up to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. call today to request a free decision guide to help you better understand what medicare is all about.
and which aarp medicare supplement plan works best for you. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients... plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. there's a range of plans to choose from, too. and they all travel with you. anywhere in the country. join the millions who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp, an organization serving the needs of people 50 and over for generations... and provided by unitedhealthcare insurance company, which has over 30 years of experience behind it. call today. remember, medicare supplement insurance helps cover some of what medicare doesn't pay -- expenses that could really add up. these kinds of plans could save you up to thousands in out-of-pocket costs... you'll be able choose any doctor
who accepts medicare patients. and you never need referrals. so don't wait. with all the good years ahead, look for the experience and commitment to go the distance with you. call now to request your free decision guide. this easy-to-understand guide will answer some of your questions, and help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that's right for you. constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. severe conservative exit stage right. massachusetts moderate take center stage. the paradox of the mittens, a play in three possibly four acts, continues. it's